DOM05-M: NightMoves "TransDance GC1" 10''
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A. TransDance (1981 Version)
B. Life Up (Demo)
Edition of 400 copies.
Presented in a hand-printed silkscreen cover sleeve. It includes a leaflet. Blue-Transparent vinyl. Mastered by Yves Roussel, 2013.
A brief history by Michael Guihen:
When Michael Guihen first saw Tubeway Army performing "Are Friends Electric" on Top of the Pops on the 24th of May 1979, the simple, driving sound of the opening bars grabbed his attention and inspired him to form his own electronic band, in early December 1979 he was very keen to get going and placed an advert in "The NME" which read "Man with Drum Machine looking for others to form Synth based band". In late January of 1980 Michael got a ton of replies and set about interviewing a number of people which seem to fit the bill. After much consideration he chose to work with a couple John and Leona. They were both pale and interesting looking, wore grey 40's styled suits, had slicked back hair but more importantly they had their own Korg MS20 and Oberheim synths, (at this time Michael had brought a tinny cheap Dr Rhythm Drum machine and a Tascam four track).
After meeting a few times to discuss what they should call themselves and what sort of music they wanted to make John and Leona came up with the name 'Oblong Mauve' an abstract name with no meaning. That done they started to play around with bass lines and sounds on the MS20 & Oberheim and set about writing what they thought were "progressive electronic tracks" which were really just noise & a couple of cords which they wrote and recorded at John and Leona's small bed sit in West London on Michael's four track recorder.
Michael started writing lyrics and performing vocals as both John and Leona were mic shy and thought they looked better behind the keyboards. Ten months after they started writing together the relationship between the three became stressed due to musical differences as Michael wanted a more commercial sound that people could relate to and John & Leona wanted to make abstract noise tracks. So they parted ways and Michael set about finding a new band. This took time and nothing was really working out until a chance meeting in a nightclub November 1980 when he was introduced to Denis Haines who at the time was working with Gary Numan as his keyboard player during the recording of 'Telekon' they talked for hours and spoke of collaborating on a track or two. The following week Michael played Denis some of the demo tracks that he'd written for Oblong Mauve and one track TransDance stood out (there are no copies of these demo's) Denis and Michael worked closely together and they wrote a number of backing tracks. One of these was the now famous farewell song from Gary Numan to his band Tubeway Army, "Love needs no disguise" In return for this backing track Denis gave Michael studio time to develop "TransDance".
The first version of TransDance was recorded in Late Spring 1981 at Ridge Farm studio in Surrey owned by rocker Rick Parfitt of Status Quo and within the week after the recording was finished Michael had a recording deal with GC Recordings. This mix of TransDance was pressed onto a white label GC1 and was sent to clubs around Britain and Europe, the reaction to the track was strongest in Germany, Holland and France. A few were sent to the U.S.A and got a good reaction on the New York club circuit.This GC1 white label is now extremely rare and has been know to fetch up £100 on such sites as Ebay.
In the Summer 1981 Michael was working part time in a New Romantic clothing store P.X. in London's Covent Garden with Princess Julia (who appeared in Visage's Fade to Grey video & is now a dj). Consequently he spent a lot of time in 'Club for Heroes' the birth place of the New Romantic's where many of Michael's friends such as Boy George, Steve Strange, Rusty Egan & Phillip Sallon to name but a few hung out. But at one of the many house party's Michael met John Davis or as he was known then, John Darc even though John loved the whole New Romantic scene he was more interested by New York's fledgling Electro & the Hip Hop scene, both these influences were apparent in their future work on the Robot Rock 4 track ep, as NightMoves was already established John was only too keen to join, they based themselves in Michael's parent's home in Pimlico South London.
When the 2nd mix of TransDance was recorded @ Matrix studios in London early 1982 John added the new bass line. This was again produced by Denis Haines as well as Chris Payne (another one of Numan's Keyboard players) & released by GC records on 12" vinyl and was known as the U.K. MIX. On this mix the backing vocals were sung by Eve Goddard Adam Ant's then wife who was also a friend from Mick's from earlier Punk & New Romantic days. This version of TransDance died a death in the clubs so Michael and John turned to the budding New York Hip Hop scene now emerging on the music scene which saved the track and requested they get Auther Baker king of the re-mix at the time on board to do the New York mix but he unfortunately fell ill so his 2nd in command Jay Burnett ended up doing the honours. When Mick returned to the UK with 4 reels of re-mixed work on qtr inch master tape he & John disappeared into the cutting rooms at Utopia mastering studios in central London & eventually emerged with the final edit. This became the pink label mix of TransDance called the New York mix & was the best selling version reaching Number 24 on the US Billboard dance charts in Spring 1983 & Number 2 in the London club charts and crossed over to the european market doing very well in a number of chats. NightMoves by this time grown with new members Harriet and Lora on backing and Mark McClaren on Guitar.
However even with new members the whole electronic sound had become became a little stale & after their final release of the "Robot Rock" 12" with new tracks "Take My Love" and "Beat This" in 1984 both Mick and John decided to call it a day Unlike John and Leona of Oblong Mauve, Mick and John Davis remained great friends and still meet up for the odd beer.
Mick is still working in the music business as an re-mixer with long time partner in crime (14 years) Dom Agius as 'Sugarpussy working for such labels as Tommyboy, BMG, Sony Voodoovinyl.com amongst others. If you're interested in what Mick is up today checkout a couple of websites. You can hear & buy Sugarpussy tracks & re-mixes from www.voodoovinyl.com. He and Dom are also two thirds of electro pop band Furiku who have tracks on MySpace.com http://www.myspace.com/furikumusic and John Davis now works for a global software company. TransDance gained far greater notoriety long after NightMoves disbanded & it was only with the advent of the Internet that Mick & John discovered that TransDance was a much sought after cult classic exchanging hands for vastly inflated sums of money. Distribution of their final release Robot Rock was lead by MCA at the time of sale and their lacklustre promotion of TransDance never matched the musical potential of the track & its future notoriety was based almost entirely on airplay & word of mouth In total there were 4 12" mixes of TransDance on 4 vinyl's & one 7" version (backed with Night Drive a classic 80's b side much loved by William Burnett from East Village Radio based in New York). The 3rd of these, the aforementioned New York Pink label release, was the most successful. The 7" single was re-released 1986 the UK 12" version that appears on Canada based compilation called Hardest Hits 3 and the 12" pink lable mix on Underground 80's on Bang Records For those who like the finer details the instruments used on "TransDance" were Prophet 5, Pro one and an ARP Odyssey, rhythm was, of course the TR808 with some live drums, & one home made handclap machine made John.
Release date: July 15, 2013